Dull and hard the low wind creaks
Among the rustling pampas plumes.
Drearily the year consumes
Its fifty-two insipid weeks.
Most of the grey-green meadowland
Was sold in parsimonious lots;
The dingy houses stand
Pressed by some stout contractor’s hand
Tightly together in their plots.
Through builded banks the sullen river
Gropes, where its houses crouch and shiver.
Over the bridge the tyrant train
Shrieks, and emerges on the plain.
In all the better gardens you may pass,
(Product of many careful Saturdays),
Large red geraniums and tall pampas grass
Adorn the plots and mark the gravelled ways.
Sometimes in the background may be seen
A private summer-house in white or green.
Here on warm nights the daughter brings
Her vacillating clerk,
To talk of small exciting things
And touch his fingers through the dark.
He, in the uncomfortable breach
Between her trilling laughters,
Promises, in halting speech,
Hopeless immense Hereafters.
She trembles like the pampas plumes.
Her strained lips haggle. He assumes
The serious quest. . .
Now as the train is whistling past
He takes her in his arms at last.
It’s done. She blushes at his side
Across the lawn-a bride, a bride.
The stout contractor will design,
The lazy laborers will prepare,
Another villa on the line;
In the little garden-square
Pampas grass will rustle there.